Do we dare?

Take a moment and finish this sentence:  Vulnerability is _______________.

Maybe your answers look like some of mine:

Vulnerability is…

~admitting I’ve made a mistake.
~hitting publish on a post.
~inviting people to my house.
~taking my children in public.
~when my children are sick, hurt, or afraid.
~admitting that someone has hurt my feelings.
~asking for help.
~asking for advice.
~starting a new job.
~being a mother.

I was intrigued when I found out that the topic of the book Daring Greatly by Brené Brown was vulnerability, and when she says that learning to lean into it is the way to dare to be the selves we want to be.

This book is my kind of nonfiction, blending research, anecdotes, and humor into a self-help text whose goal is to address the common emotions and behaviors that hold us back, and how to move forward anyway.

I found that much of what she said resonated with me, which makes sense as she touches on emotions that are universal: vulnerability, shame, guilt, even joy.  I noticed that in her research she did what the authors of Blink recommend: find the bright spot.  She interviewed people who were what she calls wholehearted and examines how they manage it.

I found myself nodding along often at her assessment of the “armor” we use to shield ourselves from feelings of vulnerability – in my case perfectionism and/or refusal to try-  and agreeing with the mantras she or others created to build up resilience, cultivate gratitude, and “mind the gap” between who we are and who we want to be.

Her vulnerability prayer is one example:  Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen.

She talks about what all of this looks like at home, at work, with our children.  There is so much in here that I loved and wish I could share it all with you, but really you should just read the book.  If you have ever thought, “I’d love to do ____, but I can’t,” then this book is really for you.  And me.

Because I do want to dare greatly, and I’m sure you do, too.

-Jessica

P.S.  I also loved: If you own this story, you get to write the ending.  That pretty much summed up in a sentence what I love about blogging.

I was paid by the BlogHer Book Club to review this book, but all of these opinions (and vulnerabilities) are my own.  If you want to join in the discussion or read other reviews of the book, click here.

One Response to Do we dare?
  1. Aunt Lori
    September 25, 2012 | 9:12 pm

    Yeah! I just realized that I chose to “dare greatly” recently, when I joined a political campaign team. Even later in life, I guess I still have the ability to make myself vulnerable…so, no excuses for anybody else out there!

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